We all know what being overwhelmed and stressed out feels like. Pretty lousy, right? Work is piled high, laundry needs to get done and bills are stacking up. It doesn’t take long before your to-do list becomes your own worst enemy. Take a deep breath. Now exhale. We have a solution.
Hectic times like these calls for a little “me” time. Who wants to spend their entire weekend driving around town doing errands? By the time Monday comes along, you’ve had no time to relax and prepare for another long week.
One of the best ways to de-stress is through massage therapy. Research from some of today’s world class institutions such as the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School and Boston Medical Center have proven that therapeutic massage effectively reduces stress, both mentally and physically.
Stress can cause more damage to your overall health than an achy headache. Studies show that stress triggers your brain to release a hormone called cortisol, often referred to as “the stress hormone.” An increase in cortisol levels can result in an increased heart rate, which in turn can affect your lungs, circulatory and digestive systems. High cortisol levels are also associated with a weakened immune system.
Here’s where massage comes in. Massage therapy is known to increase levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. Healthy, balanced levels of these can help fight the negative effects of stress. For example, serotonin is known to produce a calm, general sense of well-being. Dopamine assists the human body with mood, attention, learning and sleep while oxytocin produces feelings of calm and contentment.
While we can’t promise that massage therapy will give you super hero powers, we can promise that taking some time out of your busy week to de-stress and rejuvenate will definitely make knocking things off your to-do list a little easier.
Christopher Stipp is the Director of Online Marketing for Massage Envy. Connect with Christopher on Google+.